Me and the little champion went up to the grandma and grandpa‘s graves to light some incense, give a clean and have a little hang out together. We met a snail, Ichiro fell asleep. Evidence of all follows:
Over the wall to seitai treatment (as such, obligatory bus stop snappie for evidence) with The Weakerthans in my ears… this song “Aside”, i coulda sworn i wrote these words, just not in this order. In a notebook scribbled in a suitcase no doubt. Maybe The Neko Nekos will cover this too (i gotta learn that baritone ukulele – Also adding to list: singing, learn how to do that (although I do sing “little blue truck”)).
Ichiro doesn’t know it yet but we’re gonna make a family The Linda Lindas cover band when he’s a *lil* bit older with his Mom & me. We’ll call The Neko Nekos and try to be at least 3% as cool as the originals. Its a perfect plan. We’ll make shirts.
“Aside” by John K Samson (allegedly :))
Measure me in metered lines And one decisive stare The time it takes to get from here to there My ribs that show through t-shirts And these shoes I got for free I’m unconsoled I’m lonely I am so much better than I used to be
Terrified of telephones And shopping malls and knives We’re drowning in the pools of other lives Rely a bit too heavily On alcohol and irony Get clobbered on by courtesy In love with love and lousy poetry
And I’m leaning on this broken fence Between past and present tense And I’m losing all those stupid games That I swore I’d never play But it almost feels okay
Circumnavigate this body Of wonder and uncertainty Armed with every precious failure And amateur cartography
I breath in deep before I spread those maps out on my bedroom floor
And I’m leaning on this broken fence Between past and present tense And I’m losing all those stupid games That I swore I’d never play But it feels okay
And I’m leaving, wave goodbye And I’m losing but I’ll try With the last ways left To remember, sing My imperfect offering
Fire it up:
Update: learned G & C on ukulele today. next, the world
There was a time when I was disappeared, when I was invisible, for reasons unnecessary to explain right now.
So much collapsed, lost, left, leading to confusion, despair and seeking… Far — I mean *all the way*￼￼ — deliberately lost, comfortably lonely, finding ways and means of healing, picking up the pieces, starting again, recycling some bits￼, rebuilding from the foundation, working backwards from the mis-quoted Buddha koans… there were poetry, scrapbooks, letters and tears.
* reinventing to who I already was *￼
But what I came here to say is “it’s all about the cycles“ and as it goes… two years ago I came here to begin a new life. I will live here forever.
When I was a kid, I knew right away I wanted to “go places, make stories, share with others“ I’ve done a lot of the first two, now can do a lot of the three while still doing more of the two and maybe some of the one, but only maybe. And I’m cool with that.
Anyway, since I arrived here:
* Massive epic wedding with so many wonderful people (so great!)
* Wonderful relationship with in-laws (so incredibly grateful for this)￼
* Remarkable baby delivered safely in the midst of public health crisis
* One funeral (extended Buddhist social distance style) ￼of a long-lived grandmother shortly after the baby (who shares a name – but not kanji – with her late husband) ￼arrived￼
* Several museums slowly visited, getting to know the buses, ￼street cars, villages and shrines in our local area￼
* Many, many bowls of Ramen￼ & teas/coffees (extensively documented for historical research)￼
So much paperwork and registrations, i.e.:
* national health insurance
* pension program
* “my number” card
* foreigner registration card (& renewal)
* updating a handful of passports￼
(all of the above requiring slightly different sized photos)
* koseki tohon (family register)￼
* post office bank account
* international transfer bank
* various library cards
* several hospital cards
* a few mysterious phone numbers
* taxes in multiple countries (such a good boy Dave!)
* various government records in previous countries updated (usually by postal mail since heaven help me if I’m gonna spend four hours on hold)
* Several of the same of the above for wife’s name change & Ichiro’s various registrations and citizenship￼(s), often requiring certified translation and notarizations￼
* Add in a consulate visit for an affidavit￼
* Monthly hospital visits with the neurologist (no, no real progress #mecfs but well… I’m in the system) + frequent “Seitai” treatments / hard to explain but very useful + Several emergency room visit (I’ll spare you the details) + Investigations into LDN/new strategies￼
* Hundreds, possibly approaching thousands of postal mail items (postcards, letters, dossiers) ￼sent out into the world
* Hundreds, possibly approaching thousands of blog posts (diaries, personal archeology etc.) sent out into the world￼
* An extended ramble to far-flung corners of under-known Japanese provinces to visit sensei in fishing ports and wizard hermits in mountains (also museums, hot springs, and roadside attractions)￼
* So many various trains￼ and styles of accommodation utilized / several of which are documented in various forms (the trains, not the hotels/guest houses/capsules/ryokan/minshuku/retreats…)￼
* Relatives in Nagasaki hospitals and abacus tournaments visited / Plus atomic bomb memorial, and evidence of early Dutch trading settlements, met a noodle-making friend, saw an damaged industrial island that looks like a battleship￼￼
* Two Christmases/New Years, one raucous, one subdued
Several, but nowhere near enough, Hot Springs visits > However, wonderful new bathtub installed at our cottage
While on the topic, a couple of double-pane windows, wall repairs and other things to make the house more cozy and efficient￼ (documentation about current construction project omitted to avoid excess redundancy)￼
Exhibit of my paintings of post boxes, sometimes with haiku, and Shibuya and Mac Kobayashi ’s goat farm, plus a magazine and cameos on TV￼
Several Mae Maes (Ryoko Olson’s band) shows (plus a YouTube channel)￼ / i’m the proudest husband when I get to go watch her perform + Love to support her when she is organizing concerts and making postcards, flyers, pins…￼￼
Going with Ryoko to tea ceremonies at lovely sensei’s house or “out and about” to special events (e.g. ceramic town Bizen where we also visited master potter Hosokawa’s studio)￼￼￼ – Learning the tools and the combinations and the processes and the nuance + rocking kimono￼
Started a sort of kind of little shop thing to sell postcards & poems (including paintings and post boxes, lomos from India,…) I mean the part about sharing the stories I mentioned above preamble
Started a project to sell some things which exist only in memories and on paper￼
Got some new glasses, gave up some habits, hung out at some barbershops (also wife cut hair), learned some new words￼, organized some archives, turned 50 years old (did a big personal archeology project about that￼ #daveo50), wrote a few poems,￼ tried some new calligraphy techniques, sorted and organized art supplies, tidied up a tool shed and the barn￼￼, listened to a lot of records – some old and some new (to me)￼, books out of boxes and onto shelves, many new books ordered￼￼…
Other things & items forgotten (but likely documented elsewhere…)￼
Most importantly though is remarkable wife and adorable baby and wonderful in-laws and kind and thoughtful friends scattered around the world (you).
Fondly, dvo ￼
Photo: Evidence of a passport renewal, the mustache means I’m a distinguished person to be taken seriously, right? Am I doing this right?￼
Took a few tries but getting fresh specs dialed in for my curious eyes￼.
Thanks to Kenji Nishida-san and his tiny optical boutique. Noting: he dresses exclusively in black like some kind of spectacle superhero
And one more (because I am a relentless cornball), this one here at the gallery with a cut out of the architect at this building which was once the prefectural office and now endless white corridors and the hum of fluorescent lights and ventilators
As it goes, a photo from 2013 popped into rotation today: me as usual with beard, specs and art in the background so… I snapped another quick similar pose and noted that despite the hard miles of these last seven years – all the hospitals, all the treatments, all the medication, all the stopping medications, all the loss (name it), so many dear ones passing, at least four concussion level falls & crashes (Vancouver, Adelaide, Pacifica, Chiang Mai), so much being gone gone gone lost (not wanting to be found), finding myself in harms way intentionally and otherwise, some terrible decisions, some great decisions, looking anywhere for home, not wanting to be home, forgetting about home – so many > too many places – and then somehow found – with all of “that”, I don’t look all that worse for wear.
The Buddha is quoted as saying, “to gain anything, first you must lose everything” I did and then found out that Buddha never said that – (dang *experts*). Regardless, some of what I lost, I picked back up, other parts I left behind.
Seven years which felt like 17, and i’m only scratched & dented gently & mostly on the inside. It’s good for poetry if nothing else.
70 more to go. Still. At least.
PS Noting that there was a lot of damage and a lot less smiling in “the between years”. Might share at some point, but just came here to say thanks for all your kind words and support. Almost convinced I’m worth it 🙂
The article ran as a full page on the Entertainment section and you can explore two versions online in both the Technology and Entertainment sections. The print edition includes a screenshot of the Behind the Scenes vidcast show with Shaun and Eric, while the online version features a video with Director of Fan Communities Dave Olson giving a tour of MovieSet.com (including Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus).
The article kicks off by asking: Care to wander onto the set of a movie shoot, chat with the actors, see the inside story on the stunts?
Well, do you?
The article quotes the erstwhile leader of the “social media renegades,” Dave Olson, who relates the focus on fan participation as the key to traffic growth and enthusiasm for the site, using our recent Death Warrior campaign as an example (links/snippets added):
“It empowers fans to go out and evangelize and start the conversation,” said Olson, who became director of fan communities for Movieset in January, after successful stints at a number of Vancouver digital companies including Raincity Studios where he curated an award-winning blog and helped launch Phones for Fearless, a campaign to support eastside artists and residents.
“The movie business has been slow to come to this style of marketing,” said Olson. “It is bubbling up from the grass roots.”
Movieset.com is a boon for indie films and it’s attracting attention from larger studios.
For small very specialized films, such as Death Warrior, a mixed martial arts film that included livestream video among its offerings for fans, Movieset allowed it to find a core audience that shared a passion for the action film.
“We found out where fans of that genre hang out, we communicated with them in their language and we invited them to take part,” said Olson. “We even gave away the bloody sweatshirt that Georges St-Pierre was killed in to a fan at the end of it.”
Finally, Ms. Shaw’s article outlines some of the other tactics we’ve used to bring movie fans behind the scenes and a call to action for movie makers of all kinds ~ from indies to majors ~ to hop aboard the MovieSet cluetrain:
Indeed, there are now excellent examples which demonstrate the power of MovieSet’s two-headed monster. Cast and Crew members are employing our tools to streamline their daily workflow, they deliver content directly to their movies page including still photos, videos, news, or blog posts.
Once uploaded, the rich content gives the social media conversationalists an opportunity to reach out to an engaged community of fans interested in the film. Fans then become active contributors by following, supporting and commenting throughout each phase of production. And so on, and so on …
I was interviewed (and used loquacious quotes like “super lame”) for an article about train travel in the Vancouver Courier.
I am including my quotes and a few other snippets about my pet-rant, ergo: inadequate train travel between here and points south – as well as the photo by Dan Toulguet so it doesn’t disappear…
Slow train coming
Robert Alstead takes a journey north by rail from California and wonders if Canada’s vanished passenger trains will once again carry us from coast to coast – Robert Alstead, Vancouver Courier Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Dave Olson, who works in marketing for Gastown web design company Raincity Studios, travels six or seven times a year by train, on business and pleasure. “I don’t care for jet travel because of the incredible hassle and huge eco-footprint,” says Olson. Like many, he would take the train more if he could. “I like the pace and not having to drive, I like the rhythm and the scenery you normally don’t see, the rail yards and seashores and forgotten neighbourhoods. I find the train-riding experience somehow charming, even poetic and certainly creativity stimulating,” he says.
However, he complains Amtrak’s evening train south is hardly convenient for trips to Olympia or Portland, seeing as travellers must make an overnight stopover in Seattle. The Amtrak Cascades is also infrequent and often booked up. Amtrak does offer several “train buses” which Olson has found “super lame” with long border waits. He’d rather take the car if there are no seats on the train, although it did mean a $124 parking bill and a chipped windshield on a recent three-day trip to Seattle. “I know we would’ve enjoyed some work or playing cards or meditating on the train,” he rues.
However, the Amtrak Cascades offers a good example of the difficulties faced in enhancing rail services.
For years, Amtrak has wanted to add a second roundtrip train between Eugene and Vancouver. However, congestion due to heavy freight movement on track this side of the border meant that a new siding needed to be added to allow trains to pass. For six years, Canadian and U.S. officials and railroad owners Burlington Northern Santa Fe had been unable to hammer out a deal over who should pay for the upgrade.
That means that a second Amtrak Cascades has been running only as far as Bellingham. Then in March of last year, spurred on by the onset of the 2010 Olympics, B.C. transportation minister Kevin Falcon announced that he was committing “up to $4.5 million” (reportedly 57 per cent of the upgrade cost) to build the siding.
In June last year, Premier Gordon Campbell marked the new service on the platform at King Street Station in Seattle by exchanging a large symbolic train ticket with Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in a photo op.
The siding was completed months ago. Amtrak is ready to go. But the service hit the buffers due to complications with the Canadian Border Services Agency, which reportedly wants $15,000 per day to clear the train.
Graham says the matter is in the hands of the B.C. government. A spokesperson for the province says it’s a federal government issue. Faith St. John, spokesperson for the CBSA, said she could not comment on the matter “because we are in discussions.” But she did say that “decisions to provide CBSA services at a new location or to expand current services take into account human resource requirements and the ability to provide security and service to the public.”
She could not say when the matter would be resolved.
Update, the article “disappeared” from the internets (mostly),